Prince Manor – First and International Standard Resort in Cambodia
I am glad to have come today to put into official operation this Prince Manor Resort, one among some 30 other companies of the “Prince” company. As we are meeting under rain, which is normal in the rainy season, our farmers in the whole country benefit from it in their agricultural activities. We are putting into official use this 86 million USD resort, the first and international one in Cambodia.
My appreciation for the efforts made by Prince Company, whose investment already reached billion of USD dollars in Cambodia, including this resort. Locating east of the capital city of Phnom Penh, the resort would attract local as well as foreign visitors. In August, I also inaugurated a resort, developed by Oknha Ly Yong Phat in the north of Phnom Penh, where some seven thousand visitors can visit in one day.
No Foreign Tourists Allowed, Only Business People, Technicians and Diplomats
The resort would create an environment for people to frequent their holiday and recreation. One can throw in a question as to why, in time of Covid-19 and fall of tourists’ arrivals, we turn to putting into official use such resort. Covid-19, let me affirm, has caused (socio-economic) damages to us but it has no ability to stop everything. At this stage, tourism sector has had a bad impact. From having received up to 6.6 million tourists in 2019, this year Cambodia recorded only over one million. We do not hope quick recovery of international tourists’ arrivals as Covid-19 has not yet subsided […]
We have asked our friends for their understandings that we decided to cancel flights from their sides into Cambodia as each flight coming in had brought us Covid-19 infected cases. They had caused rampant pandemic cases. We have not yet allowed incoming arrivals of tourists but business people, technicians, and diplomats to Cambodia. They needed to be in Cambodia to manage their business and investments. That is why we have daily flights to the country […]
As for foreign tourists’ arrivals, Cambodia has not yet allowed them in and they have no wish to travel too. We have kept very few flights in and out of the country. We now have flights to and from the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Taipei, and there are some occasional charter flights from this or that country in case of necessity […]
(External) Objective Diversion, Internal Subjective Adaptation
Well, why are we inaugurating this resort to attract tourists then? Tourism does not necessarily means foreign tourists alone. It also means local tourists. Before Covid-19, nearly two million Cambodians traveled as tourists to foreign destinations. In Covid-19 time, the Cambodian people have more chances to visit tourist sites in the country. That is what I would call “an objective diversion.” While there has an objective trend of diversion (out there,) we also have the need to have internal diversion subjectively.
Provinces in the country must make further efforts to attract local tourists to visit. For instance, last August, we allowed people to take five days holiday plus two weekends – one before and one after – nine days in all, over 1.6 million people traveled for recreation everywhere in the country. For the Phcum Ben (Buddhist ritual) holiday, 1.1 million traveled for tourist purposes […] at the Waterpark resort of Oknha Ly Yong Phat, […] the Ministry of Health allowed entry of seven thousand people at one time. The resort allowed people to go in alternately – some in the morning and some in the afternoon, for instance. This alternation has allowed more than 10,000 visitors for one day […]
Foods, Drinks and Leisure – in Human Nature
In time of Covid-19, in a way, it has offered a chance for our people to know their country better. While they before would book flight to Dubai, Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan, Malaysia, etc. they have now planned their holidays to provinces of Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri, Kompot, Kep, Kompong Som, Koh Kong, Siem Reap, and so on. People in Phnom Penh could also spend their holiday time in nearbly places such as Phnom Tamao or Tonle Bati in Takeo, or to the Waterpark resort, and now they can come to Prince Manor […]
That is what people as human being need. Some have rebuked me that (I have turned Cambodia into) a society of eating, drinking and taking leisure. My reason for that matter is simple – what are you working to earn money for if you are not spending it for yourself? […] our people are producing to meet eating and drinking demand every day. Farmers are busy doing that too […] (I see, there arrived the Chinese Ambassador Wang Wentian). If people do not spend for their needs, eating, drinking and recreation, for instance, why else are they working to earn money? […] besides, have you noticed, business dealing with entertainment, recreation, etc. have been making remarkable incomes.
More Resorts – the Sort of Prince Manor – Needed
I wish to reaffirm the three major contributors in economy – agriculture, industry and service. The three play essential roles in shaping economy as a whole. Agriculture has had a smaller share. In developed nations, we can see its share marked at 1% or even less and more shares contributed by industry and even more by service sectors. Tourism is one among those registered under service sector, and in the world, countries are working hard to created tourist products to attract foreign tourists to their countries.
Cambodia is also doing this. We must come up with more tourist products such as Prince Manor Resort […] where there are many kinds of recreational activities. People needed them. That is why in time of Covid-19, we needed to change our direction. We divert people’s usual habit of spending their holiday times in foreign destinations to (do so in local destinations). Objectively, countries in the world would not allow foreign tourist in for fear of Covid-19 infections. We also do not allow foreign tourists to come. Those who used to visit other countries to spend their times at tourist islands, they now spend their times at Cambodia’s many islands too. Many traveled places to get to know their own country better.
I think it is a good chance for efforts to create more tourist sites and/or improve existing ones. We have no way of knowing yet as to when Covid-19 would subside. According to the World Health Organization, days ago it warned that infection could reach up to 10% of the world population. If this figure is truly happening, while we have some seven billion population in the world, we are talking about 700 million here. That is a disaster. I find it hard to accept this theory. I support the World Health Organization but I am worried about causing unnecessary fear […]
No One Died of Hunger, Traffics Jammed in Phnom Penh
It is true though that we cannot neglect that Covid-19 is here. I will talk more about this and I am asking for understanding that I have the need to talk on other matters besides this resort to other audiences – Buddhist monks, civil servants, armed forces, people in the whole country, and things relating to national and sub-national institutions too. I have many issues besides Prince Manor resort and/or things about Kien Svay district and Kandal province. However, before I hit on those issues, let me thank and assure my appreciation on the efforts of the Prince Company for this Prince Manor Resort project, which not only attracts tourists but also an exposure to some modern agricultural activities too […]
I believe that in the day or time to come, the Company would think of building a tourists’ port (by the river Mekong) to allow tourists coming in by cruise ships from/to upstream and/or downstream. They may find the place fun to stay for one or two nights. Prince Manor Resort also have its hotel in place. Should they think of doing that, I would administer the Ministry of Public Works and related authorities to facilitate the project […]
I inaugurated one resort in August and again in October I am doing for another one. I will do more. We will show to the world that Covid-19 can cause us damages but it could not end everything here. The important thing here is (observing) objective diversion (because of the pandemic out there) to change direction subjectively to improving local tourist sites to attract and serve people’s visits. As of this moment, Cambodia has not had anyone die of hunger. People still have ability to pay for their travel. Traffic jammed in Phnom Penh […] I am stressing that the private sector has played important role in time Covid-19 here and I am sure also in the post-Covid-19 period, whenever it ends.
State-Private Sector Partnership (1) Keeping Jobs and Continuing Production Lines
I thank the Prince particularly and other companies as a whole for coming and being here. They have contributed to maintaining stability of the country because the state and private partnership have actually presented two critical roles. Firstly, (the fact that companies are) not bankrupted and/or closing down means they keep jobs for the Cambodian people, while they keep producing for local consumption and export demand. What would happen to millions of Cambodians working in small and medium non-registered and registered sectors should those companies close? […]
In general, if they could survive financially. They would keep their companies operating and that would mean keeping jobs and incomes for workers. This would help our people and relieve some burden from the Royal Government. As of this moment, the Royal Government has announced continuation for another three months (its program of) providing help to workers losing their jobs. The Ministry of Economy and Finance already announced the action plan. Those in tourist sector would receive 40 USD per person (per month) from the Royal Government. Those in garments/apparels sector would receive 40 USD from the Royal Government and some factories offered an addition of 30 USD per person […]
They would use this money to help their parents who are doing other businesses or working in agriculture to help stabilize their livelihood. This issue of job losses because of Covid-19 is rampant in the world, not only in Cambodia. In saying so, that the companies continue with investments and operations without closing and/or reducing number of their workers is a major contribution to relieve the Royal Government’s efforts to secure jobs and income for the Cambodian people […]
State-Private Partnership (2) Some Factories Closed, Some New Ones Open
Secondly, in time of Covid-19, some factories had closed down but we also have some new ones open. It is a good chance of creating jobs and new products. We have noticed growth of manufacturing, small and medium enterprises/industry, in which food production has been very important. Food related production, and those making tools and equipment for personal protection such as facemasks which started from a few people before has now increased to dozens. On behalf of the Royal Government, I thank the private sector for their contributions in sustaining social/national being with the Royal Government.
On this particular point, I have brought up and highlighted in the via-video World Economic Forum. I stressed the two roles for the partnership between state and private sector and the private sector has indeed played a remarkable ones. I surely hope that we will continue to hold hands to maintain balance and to continue to keep national stability, while working towards economic growth once again in the post Covid-19 period.
Growth Anywhere at -1.9 Territory
[…] they have predicted that Cambodian economic growth would have fallen between 7% and 9% […] we did our calculation and we come a prediction that it would fall to anywhere at 1.9%. As of this time, major financial institutions such as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, etc. have readjusted their predictions […] the World Bank updates its growth figure to anywhere at minus 2% and our figure was 1.9% – there were almost no differences. Previously, they looked at our situation from a different angle […] as we are standing up, keeping Covid-19 under control, maintaining socio-economic balance, while improving people’s living condition, and in addition to these, bigger chance offered to Cambodian farmers in agricultural sector, (they have updated their figures) […]
Appreciation of Local Healthcare Service, Farmers Feed Themselves and Supply
I may talk a little on this issue. We all know people cannot spend their holidays abroad and have instead done so locally. Let me also talk about health. Previously, people always go for foreign health services whenever they have health problem. At this time, no one can go out for medical care anymore. One of my advisors always asked permission to have his medical checkup in France. Now that he could not do so, he had had this problem with his heart. He went through surgery in Cambodia and he recovered well now. This has revealed the true capability of the Cambodian health sector. Previously many distrust it. In the time of Covid-19, they learn of its ability and appreciate it. They even have a song about “white gown soldiers.” It has presented a huge trial of Cambodian ability to resolve whatever stands in the way […]
One other story would be things in agriculture. As we no longer import (things like vegetables and meat) from outside, farmers are working hard to grow, and to raise animals, to feed themselves but also to supply to the markets. For instance, we have had less imports of pork and vegetable in the time of Covid-19, who then in this development supply them to the markets? Our farmers have done so. That is what I say whenever we come to a difficulty, we always learn something to deal with it. We also have found chance to bring ourselves forwards. We are not the sort of people who would make the best when things are calm but rush away when things are difficult […] we are here making efforts for national development. We do not run away.
Four Factors Allowing People to Enjoy Holidays
I am taking this chance to thank institutions and authorities at all levels, and the armed forces, for their efforts to keep security for our people to enjoy holidays […] for the two times that local and foreign tourists were stranded on Koh Rong because of storm, concerned authorities had safely brought them to safety. I really appreciate their efforts in helping with traffic congestion […] what are the factors that allow our people to travel and enjoy holidays. Firstly, Cambodia is in peace. People can travel everywhere because there is not fighting […]
In YouTube, you may find a song titled “Voice of Soldiers at Koki Thom,” sung by Sin Sisamouth, (the best singer in the past). The song brought us to a fact that in between 1974 and 1975, the frontline of fighting was at Kokithom, (of Kien Svay), Kandal province. It was a shameful thing. Over the territory of 181,035 square kilometers, the frontline had come to the doorstep of Phnom Penh – Kokithom. On the other side of the river (Mekong), (the then regime) lost Areykhsat, Prek Tamak, etc. Would you think people then in Phnom Penh were safe? It was until 1998, under win-win policy we once again make whole peace and unify the land after so long in the history.
Secondly, we have infrastructural connectivity that people can go wherever they wish to in the whole country. Today, we have the presence of the Chinese Ambassador, HE Wang Wentian, with us. I thank our Chinese friends for helping Cambodia build thousands of Kilometers of road. Seeing that China helped build roads, offered grants and loans for the sake of infrastructural development, some said that Cambodia has become too dependent on China, or even chosen China over other powers. I wanted to ask a question to them, however, if China did not help build those roads/bridges, who would have helped do them? […]
Ream – Port of Call Are Welcome for Works/Exercises with Cambodia
They talked ill of the (infrastructural efforts) but they also travel on the roads/bridges we built. They only talked of Cambodia “going to China’s side.” In the last few days, they accused Cambodia of giving out Ream – a seaport, to China for its exclusive use. We had had to replay a video tape of what I had said in the province of Preah Sihanouk since June with English subtitles. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also sent out diplomatic notes to foreign embassies clarifying while “Hun Sen has said so and so, why else those people talked about (Hun Sen was) making the military seaport at Ream an international?” We would allow ships from other countries to have port call. It is not a commercial port for loading and off-loading goods. It is a military port. Any wish for a port of call must make a prior request. Not only China can request for port of call, other countries also can ask for port calling and refueling or landing troops, when there are military exercises or do any works with Cambodia. We welcome them.
Three New Roads Projects Call for Chinese Financial Support
Yesterday, I approved three more projects (for which Cambodia will ask) for Chinese financial assistance since the two countries have already negotiated them […] Firstly, the national road 41 from national road 4 through to Kompot, secondly, the national road 31 and the national road 33 … all go Kompot province […]. These are projects listed in our negotiation and sealed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth and Senior Minister Sun Chanthol of Public Works and Transports. We will get down to work once the projects approved. As usual, projects fulfilled by China (financial supports) are not backtracking. That is why we can say that with better infrastructures people can travel and enjoy their holidays everywhere.
Thirdly, these days, either people have own or hired transport means of transportation […] we have many kind of means of transportation, more than I could remember. As for me, I never know what car they drive me to work. My problem is to get to my office and not by what car […] therefore, people are traveling and enjoying holidays everywhere either by own or hired means of transportation […]
Fourthly, people secure their income and can set aside for holiday travelling. Covid-19 destroyed our ways of life left over by our ancestors of thousands of years. Where we used to sit closed to each other, we now have to sit far in between for fear of Covid-19. I regretted that when I was at my native village the other day, I could not go close to villagers whom I used to not only shake hands but also embrace them […] that is what they called new normal way of life. We have to sit far between and put our masks on […] the world is in changing mode […]
Health Measures Needed during Water Festival
In the near future, the same story will happen. In the forthcoming water festival holiday period, though it is true that the Royal Government already declared postponement of celebration of the Water festival in Phnom Penh, there are still possibilities that people will organize this traditional festival on their own. I am asking Minister of Health, HE Mam Bun Heng, to consider laying out measures for boat race activities, which is different from other sports […] if people celebrate boat race at their places, what measures would be necessary to take? It would be difficult to prohibit people from this tradition. They could just pulled out their boats and race in the river wherever they live. We will not celebrate such festivities in Phnom Penh but in Buddhist pagodas people would celebrate it. There must be instructions with regard to health and precaution of Covid-19 infection […]
Apology on Lack of Proper Protocol Attention to HM the King and the Queen Mother
Yesterday, I sweated at the International Airport of Phnom Penh at Po Chentong. I already posted it in my Facebook account. It was a lack of proper protocol attention from my part. It should not have happened. Normally, my eyes are light sensitive. I put on my dark lenses sunglasses. Once Their Majesties the King and the Queen Mother arrived, I went out to greet them. I forgot I was in dark lenses sunglasses. I have two habits. Firstly, I never wear dark lenses sunglasses when I am with HM the King or with the people. I put them on only when I travel alone. Secondly, I never put on red color tie to see HM the King or the Queen Mother […] for that improper attention to the protocol from my part,
I have sent a message of apology and posted one on Facebook too. It was purely unintentional. I knew of the dark lenses sunglasses only after Their Majesties took off, when I pulled out another pairs of sunglasses, which I thought they were dark ones, to replace the ones I was wearing. I immediately sent an apology to HM the King on WahtsApp […] people might have noticed lack of proper protocol attention from my part […]
Covid-19 Imported Cases
The world has had no way yet of knowing what will be happening next in the time of Covid-19. As of this moment, we have not had a clue yet as to where does Covid-19 come from. Some countries have claimed of finding vaccines and the World Health Organization has not yet approved anyone of its effectiveness. Treatments so far has been conducted using medicines found to have cured patients through different medical practices. We cured all 280 patients, only four left […] though we have not had widespread infection yet, we must not underestimate the rampant possibility and must continue to exercise healthcare and protection measures.
We must apply medical protection using alcohol, gel, hygienic practices because we have no way of knowing who would and would not have Covid-19. We also must observe social distancing. Covid-19 is here with us and we have no way of knowing where it is. Even the White House, it found its way to infect the President and the First Lady. I with President Donald Trump and the First Lady quick recoveries from Covid-19. On Monday, I saw he returned to the White House, where he will continue to have treatment while attending to his works. Everyone on this note must be careful. People must take parts in every measures instructed and physicians must also protect themselves […]
Cash Support Three More Months for Poor/Vulnerable and Workers Losing Jobs
[…] I am informing the Cambodian people that the Royal Government will continue in the next three months (program to offer financial help) to those roughly 600,000 poor/vulnerable households or about three million people that are benefiting from it, until December, when it will be the sixth round of the state intervention. […] they are workers who lose their jobs in tourist sector will receive a cash support (within the specified period) of 40 USD (per person/per month). Those in garments would receive 40 USD from the Royal Government and another 30 USD per person/per month from factories. We also have social protection program to offer financial supports for female workers and women with pregnancy in poor households and the support with continue for each kid until s/he is two years old. Cash for labor has also increased from 50 million to 150 million USD. With this program, people can build small hydraulic dams and dirt roads that benefit the local community, and support their incomes too.
150 Million USD for Siem Reap City Infrastructure; another Three Months of Relieves of Tax, Social Security Fund
The Royal Government has approved allowing 150 million USD for 38 roads development in the city of Siem Reap. For the immediate benefit, we have a better infrastructure in our tourist city after we have nearly completed our project at Preah Sihanoukville city. I will preside over the groundbreaking ceremony for the project at Siem Reap in November. A fair amount of this 150 USD sum will go to workers and people who take parts in developing the roads. This is what I call “state management in time of uncertainties,” which means things are not stable. We have to work out together to ensure that our economy is hanging in a stable balance. What we have introduced since the first round until the fifth round intervention will continue to stand in force for companies – such as reducing or relieving taxes, and/or social security fund payment obligation, for another three months.
Agriculture Up, Service and Industry Down, Retain Water for Crops Cultivation
We must work hard to drive our economy especially in the field of agriculture. We are sure agriculture will have higher share of growth because of the smaller shares from service and industry sectors. The water level in the Mekong River, (at this seasonal flood time) is anywhere four to five times lower than the level expected every year. There is very little chance that the water level in the Mekong will rise to what we want.
A tropical storm would hit Vietnam’s Nha Trang and proceed to Cambodia at around 5pm today. The pressure has already reached us and this morning we have had some rain already. Form tonight, the country will have rain throughout the country. I am calling on our people living along the river, and having their cultivation areas nearby the lakes, to retain water as we are not sure if there would be any more rain after this one. This year, dry-season rice cultivation would be difficult. We may not have flood recession rice cultivation for that matter. Our people must work on retention of water they may now have in their canals, reservoirs, rice fields, etc.
Inspecting and Replacing Strategic Food and Health Related Stocks
I must remind institutions in charge of stocking strategic food and health related goods to inspect their piles and replace them. This should include medical tools and equipment. We have stock of the Ministry of Health and the strategic stock of the Royal Government. We may check if our facemasks stocks is now in expiration date. We also must be sure if we have replaced recorded number of PPE (personal protection equipment) after we used them. We have in stick rice, instant noodle, fish and soya sources. This is Hun Sen’s strategy. We would not be defeated. We have rice stock at the Ministry of Trade. We have instant noodle in noodle factories. […] I have used a slogan “no matter what happened, I would not allow Cambodians die of hunger.”
Recently, Deputy Prime Minister Aun Pornmoniroth request to replace the rice in stock with newly harvested ones […]. With such detail preparation, Hun Sen always have ace in his hands and he could hold on to power for more than 35 years. It would be infertile to try to destroy Hun Sen and/or the Hun’s family. I have listened to voices (of people in the opposition) talked to each other that “if no money sent to me, I would go to jail because it would be where there would be a free meal.” Those abroad pushed those inside to take actions. Once charged, the ones committed guilt inside try to run away from legal actions. When those outside did not send them money, they threatened to go to jail because there are free meals […]
Over 16 Million People Keep Peace, Political Stability, Social Security and Order
Firstly, (we must) keep peace, political stability, social security and order, no matter what it might cost. We must not allow or country to fall into chaos. I thank the over 16 million Cambodians for taking parts in keeping peace, political stability, and social security and order. They are not following incitements from criminals both outside and inside. They may say whatever they want for I am calling them the criminals. Thanks to our people’s understanding and participation, we were able to celebrate peacefully Pchum Ben days. People traveled and enjoyed holidays in peace, political stability and social security and order.
Some raised an issue that while there is peace now, there is no security in one’s mind and heart. If they wish to have peace of mind too, they must not go against the law. The society does not cause you so but you are so because you go against the law […] a (Cambodian) female abroad called me name […] while such people are doing so to someone much older than her […] and more so she speaks wrongly, […] she would not have gone free if she does that in the country. Peace of mind comes when you do not commit illegal activities.
I evaded war and found peace for the country. We no longer fight with weapons. While before Cambodia was in division no less than two parts in one time – before 1970, there were Khmer Rouge, Khmer Blue, Khmer White; in between 1970 and 1975, there were Khmer Lon Nol, Khmer Norodom Sihanouk or the Khmer liberators; in between 1975 and 1979, under Pol Pot, there were pockets of resistances – otherwise, where could I be? In between 1979 through to 1993, Cambodia was under four controls – the People’s Republic of Kampuchea and later the State of Cambodia’s area; the Khmer Rouge area, the Funcinpec area; and the KPNLF area.
The elections in 1993 left Cambodia in two control areas until 29 December 1993, when Cambodia returned to one country under one Constitution, one King, one Royal Government, and one armed forces. In all these achievements, how comes you like to bring the country back to war. Under whatever price it might take, we allow no one, and I reiterate it, to destroy our hard-won peace. I already issue order to bring down whoever comes out to disturb peace. No matter what you may say it, I am doing it to defend the people, the 16 million people here. I have the task to defend peace, political stability and social security and order.
Maintaining Macro-economic Stability
Secondly, we continue to maintain macro-economic stability and we did great over the last nine months […]. Though the exchange rate had had a slight fluctuation compared to our objective (and) the price of rice shot up once while for fear of uncertainty. As of present, in general, we have stabilized prices of basic goods/foods for everyday life in the market. We must continue to carry out this works. We have stabilized through our efforts prices of rice, fish and meat, vegetables, and other necessary stuffs such as masks, alcohol, gel, and medical tools. (Let us remember that) on one end is political stability and on another end is macroeconomic stability. This is what I mean by two string of one knot […] on 26 October, I will launch the groundbreaking to build a bridge from Koh Pich to Koh Norea, and another bridge from Koh Norea to Kien Svay. What we have to do, we have to do. Let us worry about some who keep barking […] a journalist wrote that two persons are testing (my) patience […] right, Hun Sen returns no words. Whatever you say about returning, it is your matter. You can lie others but you cannot lie Hun Sen and the majority of the Cambodian people […]
No Salary Increase for Those in Services but Those Retired with Low Salary
Let me stress on one point now and I seek your understanding on the matter. Deputy Prime Minister Aun Pornmoniroth has drafted salary increase for 2021. I told him because of economic uncertainty, I instructed postponement of salary increase for 2021. However, we will keep the same salary status for our civil servants and the armed forces, and bonus for Khmer New Year and Phchum ben. Let me inform the veterans and retirees, we will increase pensions for those who had become veterans and retirees long ago […] when their basic salary was at around 400,000 Riel/month. They would have their pensions, after deduction, at around 300,000 Riel, while those who retired lately, from their basic salary of 1,000,000 riel/month, after 20% deduction, they still have 800,000 Riel as their pension monthly.
That is the difference (that we are trying to draw in) […] we will spend a sum of roughly ten million Riel to bridge the gap between those who retired long ago and those just retired with higher pay. We do not forget our veterans and retirees from the long past. We improve their pensions. As for those currently working and retirees who just received their pensions, we will not increase their salaries. I hope you understand that the country is in the state of economic uncertainties. I think it is about there that I end my statement […]./.